Posts

July 21, 2014

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2:45 PM | Drilling the Atlantic, Germany Wins (Again), Synchronized Swimming with Robots and Hippos
By Jason Bittel Cold calculation: The Obama administration announced Friday that it will open the Eastern Seaboard for offshore drilling, and allow oil and gas companies to use sonic surveying cannons, a technology known to disrupt the communication systems of marine mammals, causing them to beach themselves. But hey, apparently that’s OK with the feds. “The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management acknowledged that thousands of sea creatures will […]
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2:43 PM | New Insight Into Hot Carriers May Help Make Better Solar Cells
Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a method to study the properties of “hot carriers” in semiconductors. This method could hold the key to the design and development of new, more efficient solar cells.
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2:32 PM | A cousin of the dodo
The closely related and extinct Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) and Rodrigues Solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria), both in the subfamily Raphinae, are members of a clade of morphologically very diverse pigeons. Genetic analyses have revealed that the Nicobar Pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) is the closest living relative of these birds, thereby highlighting their ancestors’ remarkable migration and morphological evolution. The Spotted Green Pigeon (Caloenas maculata) was described in 1783 and showed […]
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2:00 PM | New UC Berkeley Study Shows Oxytocin May Help Rejuvenate Aging Muscles
UC Berkeley researchers have discovered that administering oxytocin may help maintain healthy muscles during aging.
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1:52 PM | The Search for Ithaca
This post unifies two of my absolutely favourite topics: geology and classical Greek history. I have always had a soft spot for the classics. In fact, when I started my undergrad I was planning on doing a double major of geology and classics. I decided to focus on geology, but I have not lost my […]
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1:11 PM | Fuel/Cost Savings of Improving Fuel Economy from 12->15 mpg = 30->60 mpg
Consumer tip-of-the-day: increasing efficiency of fuel economy on a miles-per-gallon scale is not linear, as more miles-per-gallon (mpg) are initially better for your wallet and the planet than you... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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9:14 AM | Postgraduate scholarship for research in hazard and risk
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. Applications are invited for the Christopher Moyes Memorial Foundation Scholarship to support a suitably qualified postgraduate student for a three year PhD programme of research in the Department of Geography at Durham University, UK. The scholarship is to support research of [...] The post Postgraduate scholarship for research in hazard and risk appeared first on Institute of Hazard, […]
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7:01 AM | California Has Little Say Over Oil Train Safety
The state can't set speed limits on trains. It can't tell railroads to choose less hazardous routes. It can't tell oil companies not to bring trains carrying volatile crude through cities.

July 20, 2014

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11:17 PM | Is There Any Type of Urban Greenspace that Addresses the Urban-Rural Continuum? Urban Agriculture
In my last post, I wrote that efficient urban sustainability policy should be inclusive, in the sense that it should address sustainability in an area large enough to encompass urban centers, but suburban, periurban and dependent rural, or natural places. … Continue reading →
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6:01 PM | Earth Art: Wildfire Abstraction
By mid-afternoon on Saturday, July 19th, raging wildfires in Oregon and Washington had consumed 947,583 acres, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. That’s an area more than three times the size of New York City, and up from a bit more than 300,000 acres on Thursday. About 100 homes have been destroyed in Washington, and […]The post Earth Art: Wildfire Abstraction appeared first on ImaGeo.
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12:41 PM | Deliberating Over Kennedy’s Thimerosal Book
Last September, Robert Kennedy Jr. and Mark Hyman received a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It pertained to a “report” that Kennedy, an environmental attorney and Hyman, a medical doctor,  had sent to federal health officials on the dangers of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative once commonly used in pediatric vaccines […]The post Deliberating Over Kennedy’s Thimerosal Book appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
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9:06 AM | Bees in space
Image credit: the NASA History Office and the NASA JSC Media Services Center Today marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, which seems like a good time to take the next step on our space adventure. You choose the topic of bees in space, so here we go! In 1984, 3400 honey bees (Apis mellifera) joined the crew of the Challenger space shuttle for a mission in space, housed in an aluminium “bee enclosure module” (BEM) as part of a student experiment to so see whether […]

July 19, 2014

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6:29 PM | Grinning, winning cress heads
Photo by kennysarmy If you’re looking for ways to keep the little ones occupied in the summer holidays, then check out this competition from Chiltern Seeds. Call 01491 824675 or email info@chilternseeds.co.uk to request a free “CRESS HEAD PACK”, and they’ll send you a packet of cress seeds, some googly eyes and some coloured pompoms to make your very own Cress Head/Animal/Alien/Loch Cress Monster (I’d love to see a Loch Cress Monster :) It’s then up to […]
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5:46 PM | Editorial post at Science Borealis
Fear not, dear readers, I haven’t forgotten my blog but have been busy elsewhere – namely over at Science Borealis where we’re making plans to ensure the long-term sustainability of our science blog syndicating project. While I haven’t blogged here in a week or so, I had a guest editorial up at Science Borealis as…
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3:40 PM | Even Trees Need Their Mothers
We tend to think of trees as individual entities, each one with its leafy or needled top and its own underground collection of roots. We now understand that the trees of some forests are linked below ground through networks of mycorrhizal fungi which serve to bridge the gap between one tree’s roots and another. In […]
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3:22 PM | Brian Devine on ag-urban transfers
Ag-to-urban water transfers are one of the ways it’s easy to make the Colorado River Basin’s water math balance. Seventy percent of the water is currently consumed by agriculture. Just a fraction of that, transferred to use in cities (AMI, or “agriculture to municipal and industrial”), should make solving the problem relatively straightforward, right? Brian ...Continue reading ‘Brian Devine on ag-urban transfers’ »
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3:07 PM | Kennedy’s New Book on Supposed Dangers of Thimerosal
This weekend I have a profile on Robert Kennedy Jr. in the Washington Post magazine. During our numerous conversations over the phone and in person, I found him to be candid, self-deprecating, and unshakably confident in his belief that thimerosal was a dangerous ingredient that should not be in vaccines. (It was phased out of U.S. pediatric […]The post Kennedy’s New Book on Supposed Dangers of Thimerosal appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
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12:46 PM | Scientists Begin to Demystify Hole Found in Siberian Permafrost
Scientists start to demystify a mysterious crater found in Siberian permafrost.

July 18, 2014

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11:09 PM | Eating the Colorado River shortage elephant, one bite at a time
This line from a paper a few years back by Edella Schlager and Tanya Heikkila may seem obvious, but in the context of current discussions over the future of Colorado River management, it bears repeating: A water allocation rule that allocates more water than is available in a river is not well matched to its ...Continue reading ‘Eating the Colorado River shortage elephant, one bite at a time’ »
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10:27 PM | Super Typhoon Rammasun Slams Ashore in Southern China
Super Typhoon began pummeling the mainland of southern China today, slamming ashore on the Luichow Peninsula with winds at landfall that may have been as high as 135 miles per hour. Click on the image above to watch an animation of infrared satellite images showing the storm barreling ashore. It was the strongest storm to hit southern China […]The post Super Typhoon Rammasun Slams Ashore in Southern China appeared first on ImaGeo.
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8:55 PM | Pebble Mine: Buried for Good?
By Susan Cosier Today the Environmental Protection Agency announced severe restrictions on mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, which supports nearly half of all the world’s sockeye salmon. The rules, if finalized, would be really bad news for efforts to build one of the world’s largest open-pit gold and copper mines in the Bristol Bay headwaters—and really good news for the wildlife, native communities, and fishermen that […]
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8:30 PM | As Rosetta Nears its Rendezvous With a Comet, Use this Way Cool Interactive Model to See How it Got There
The folks at Inove, creators of Solar System Scope, got in touch with me this morning to share their recent cool creation: an online, interactive, 3-D model of the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has lately been going through a series of thruster burns to bring it to a […]The post As Rosetta Nears its Rendezvous With a Comet, Use this Way Cool Interactive Model to See How it Got There appeared first on ImaGeo.
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7:05 PM | 7/18/2014 This Week in Energy: Beyond Headlines
Here’s a bit of energy news that didn’t make it into our daily coverage during the past week. In this review, we collected some of less big, but nonetheless interesting news, of the week that went by, from the world of energy science and technology.
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6:16 PM | Numerous Wildfires Rage in Hot and Dry Pacific Northwest
| Updated 7/19/14, 10 a.m. MDT: see new image below | Ignited by lightning strikes on hot and tinder dry forests, more than a dozen large wildfires are raging throughout the Pacific Northwest of the United States and up into British Columbia. In Oregon and Washington alone, more than 310,000 acres were ablaze as of yesterday […]The post Numerous Wildfires Rage in Hot and Dry Pacific Northwest appeared first on ImaGeo.
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6:00 PM | The Story of Mr. Bisbing, Part II: Fatherhood
This is part two out of five of our story about a great egret that we tagged at the Outer Banks in Spring 2013. We followed his movements for about 8 months and reconstructed his story with his GPS and ACC data (see part I). The exact position of the lines in the ACC graph […]
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5:59 PM | Time For Energy Diplomacy
Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has unfolded into the most serious East-West crisis in a generation. These events have illustrated Europe’s energy insecurity, but also highlight how the United... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:31 PM | Drones in Biodiversity Research
Ecologists require spatially explicit data to relate structure to function. To date, most of such data came from remote-sensing instruments mounted on spacecraft (satellites) or manned aircraft. However, the spatial and temporal resolutions of those data are quite often not suitable for smaller local-scale investigations.Relatively cheap and portable, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) better known as drones fill a gap between satellite and manned aircraft imagery and on-the-ground observations. […]
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5:27 PM | Catalyst Promises Commercially Viable Hydrogen Production
Rutgers researchers have developed a new catalyst for commercially viable hydrogen production. It is based on carbon nanotubes and performs almost as well as cost-prohibitive platinum-based catalysts.
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4:39 PM | Weekend Reads: Much Ado About Ducks, Enviro Spy Games, Saving the World—from Space
By Jason Bittel Duck Dynasty What if I told you about a government program that raked in $25 million last year despite having just three employees? And this very same program has conserved more than 6 million acres of wetlands since 1949, and wait for it … it's based exclusively around artistic renderings of ducks. Don’t call me crazy—it’s Bryan Kevin’s story—and it’s probably one of the weirdest, and coolest, […]
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3:29 PM | NEON presents its first higher education video
NEON is excited to present its first video in a series of multimedia resources. The Story of LiDAR Data provides a general overview of LiDAR data and highlights how LiDAR data is used to measure structural characteristics of trees. Education is an important part of the NEON project design. NEON’s higher education program provides a … Continue reading »
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